Cross-ice games are played skating across the ice, not the length of the ice. The sheet of ice is divided into three sections with three games played at a time. Cross-ice is what is developmentally appropriate for skaters at the cross-ice and Mite age groups (5-8 years old). The cross-ice practicing and playing model has been used in many of the leading hockey nations in the world for a number of years and has proven results. It has been shown that children who begin their hockey training in this environment have an outstanding hockey experience. This is primarily because it maximizes the number of puck touches each player can have while on the ice and provides players with far more puck possession time than on a larger ice surface -- both of which lead to the quicker accumulation of skills and more fun for all players involved. More information is here: www.admkids.com.
This video about cross-ice is amazing — it applies NHL-level analytics to demonstrate why cross-ice is better for the kids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB_Ygapyl7c.
This video helps adults realize what cross-ice and Mite-age kids see if they are skating on a full sheet of ice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXhxNq59pWg
Cross-ice games are played four on four, with smaller nets and no goalies. Shifts are kept to two minutes and the score is not recorded.
Cross-ice players also practice; there are weekly sessions which set up with drill stations, and the team rotate among the stations.
Practices are typically on Saturday mornings and games against other towns are played on Sunday mornings at Endicott College. There will also be additional cross-ice practices held weekdays in the early evening when ice time allows.
The season starts September 14th and ends in mid-February. The Cross-Ice Jamboree is in February (date is TBD).